20 May 2007

Twilight 2013

I'm helping with some design on the latest edition of Twilight 2000, and I thought I'd post a few links for anyone who is interested. The work I'm doing is fairly minimal at the moment, but it might expand (depending, in large part, on what happens in the next week or two; more on that particular can of worms when I'm able to say more about it).

On the off chance you've never heard of Twilight, let me tell you a little bit about the premise. The first edition was released by Games Designers Workshop (GDW) back in 1984. The plotline revolved around the collapse of society following a detailed account of World War III involving the US and the Soviet Union. Player characters were (ostensibly) allied soldiers who remained in Europe at the time of the collapse.

Things go so poorly that the war machine on both sides of the lines breaks down completely, and society is so damaged by the ravages of the conflict that you end up with a situation similar to what was seen in the oft-maligned Costner flick The Postman. While there remain some coherent elements of NATO and the Warsaw Pact remaining, they are islands in a sea of chaos that spans the entire European continent.

Enter the players, whose sole goal is to make it home, wherever that might be. Starting near Kalisz, Poland, the players must face their Warsaw Pact enemies, as well as local warlords, roaming marauders, and the threats posed by starvation, disease, and lingering radiation. Given that the PCs come from surviving units, they can be of almost any specialty, rank, or nationality, allowing for a great deal of character diversity in parties.

I bought the first edition to T2k many, many years ago, based solely on the box graphics. At the time, I was pretty young (fourteen?), and the game mechanics that were used eluded me somewhat. I guess they were more advanced than what I was used to. Re-reading them, I'm reminded of the level of detail involved. I'm still not real keen on the way that ammunition was represented, but it was (overall) a solid mechanical basis for a game of that scope. I was more interested in the human and historical information presented, so much so that I wrote a "history" report about the conflict for extra credit in high school.

Later on, in 1990, GDW re-released T2k with different rules (using the GDW house system) and an updated timeline. The line received a lot of support. I bought heavily into the game, picking up whatever I could, but I never did manage to run a campaign for one reason or another. Military-style games aren't for all players, after all. GDW eventually released a supplement for T2k, titled Merc 2000, which traded global warfare for scattered brushfire conflicts. Anyone who wants to play The Wild Geese should probably check out Merc 2000.

93 Games Studio is producing the latest edition of Twilight: 2000. Like the two previous editions of the game, this one will use a completely different set of system mechanics. The timeline is also different, though I can't say much about it.

Lately, 93 Games has been posting teasers and the like in order to generate some buzz about their upcoming release. So far, they've posted a background fiction piece titled Shall Not Perish in PDF format, and you can read and/or download it here. I've also been informated that a podcast has been posted on the 93 Games Developer's Blog, here. If you enjoyed the original T2k, or have an interest in the post-apocalypse genre, you might want to check it out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome news, Gary! My brother and I were "heavy" into Twilight 2000 many, many years ago. We too had the first edition, but migrated away from gaming when the second edition came out. This is like a trip down memory lane! We played through at least three different geographic areas that I remember...ruined Europe (specifically, the Warsaw are of Poland as you mentioned)...but also the Middle East (there was a module/supplement that detailed Iran and Iraq)...and also the great state of Texas (in a module titled "Red Star Lone Star") which I'll always remember as the closest thing to the [i]Red Dawn[/i] movie, which was quite popular around that time. So, enjoy the writing experience for T2K! If you loved the history as much as I did, I know you'll have a great time contributing to it.

--Neil Spicer